Roger Goodell discusses KC’s chances to host NFL Draft, relationship with Clark Hunt

The Chiefs will have competition in their attempt to host the NFL Draft in the near future, league commissioner Roger Goodell said on Friday.

Goodell, in town for the Chiefs’ annual fantasy camp, said 14 teams sent representatives to Philadelphia last month to observe the draft process in action. The Chiefs were one of those teams.

“There’s a tremendous amount of interest in all communities to host this,” Goodell said. “It has a tremendous platform, in that it gives exposure to communities, and it has a tremendous econonic impact.

“But the event has become much bigger than it ever has, and it takes more infrastructure. Even our draft recently in Philadelphia, it set a new standard, it created a new event — 250,000 people.”

Infrastructure has been an issue for the Chiefs in their attempt to host a Super Bowl. For now, that effort that has been placed on the back-burner due to a lack of premium hotel rooms in Kansas City.

“I think we’d see the same kind of passion here in Kansas City,” Goodell said. “But I believe we had 14 cities in Philadelphia that were all there to talk about how we’re going to improve our bid, our proposal, how we would make the draft even bigger. So the game and the standards keep going up.”

Goodell said market size will not a determining factor in deciding who hosts the annual draft, which for years took place at Radio City Music Hall in New York, but has more recently been staged in Chicago and Philly.

That’s good news for Kansas City, which ranks near the bottom of the league in market size.

“I think this community — and in fact, I met with some of them in Philadelphia — I think they could do a great job with the draft,” Goodell said. “It’s not about big markets; to me, it’s about passion, and having your own experience for the draft that’s going to reflect well on this community and football, and they’re going to be different.

“Chicago is different from Philadelphia; Kansas City will be different than either one of the them.”

Beef between Hunt and Goodell?

When the NFL fined the Chiefs, coach Andy Reid and general manager John Dorsey for tampering in their pursuit of wide receiver Jeremy Maclin, who was released last week, team chairman Clark Hunt issued arguably the most strongly worded rebuke of his Chiefs tenure.

The team was also forced to forfeit a handful of draft picks in the case.

“We appreciate the opportunity to make our appeal on this matter, and we acknowledge the minor reduction in fines imposed,” Hunt’s statement read at the time. “However, we continue to believe that the facts of this case combined with the league’s inconsistent enforcement of its tampering policies do not warrant the most severe penalty for player-related tampering in league history.

“Having exhausted our options under the appeal process, we are turning the page on this issue and look forward to continuing our preparations for the 2016 season.”

One could reasonably assume there would be some residual effects from league’s and Chiefs’ fundamental disagreement about the severity of those penalties.

But on Friday, Goodell grinned and characterized his relationship with Hunt as “great.”

“I have a great connection to the Hunt family in general, and you can disagree without having that affect the relationship,” Goodell said. “We spoke many times. There was a long process, there was a sharing of information, a lot of opportunities to make sure we understood one another.

“But there’s no residual effect from that, not at all. That’s what we do in the NFL — disagree without being disagreeable.”

Chiefs to play overseas again?

Goodell was also asked when the Chiefs might play another International Series game overseas, this time as the road team, after their 2015 “home” win over Detroit in London.

“Clark Hunt is the chairman of the international committee — he might have a little bit of influence in that case,” Goodell said. “If the Chiefs want to go back, I think we would love to have them, because they have a lot of fans in the U.K.”

Goodell also added that more teams want to go overseas, so that process has become competitive, too.

Related stories from Kansas City Star